2014 Volume 48 Issue 3 Pages 271-277
The coloration pattern of flower tissue affects the commercial potential of floricultural plants and is also a subject of fundamental biological interest. Transposon insertion or excision and post-transcriptional gene-silencing are well-studied mechanisms involved when flower color patterns form. In this paper, I present a research strategy to understand the mechanisms that govern the formation of flower color patterns. First, I discuss the significance of flower color pattern-formation research and then go on to describe a research system in the following six sections: Observation of flower patterns, Comparison of pigment components, Gene expression analysis, Regulation of target gene expression, Genomic structure, and Factors that can change color pattern-formation. In these sections, reference is made to my own studies on the marginal picotee pattern of Petunia flowers. Post-transcriptional gene-silencing of the chalcone synthase gene is responsible for the formation of white tissue in the white marginal picotee pattern in Petunia flowers. The unusual genomic structure of chalcone synthase is probably related to the operation of position-specific post-transcriptional gene-silencing. In the colored marginal picotee pattern of Petunia flowers, the higher expression of flavonol synthase is a responsible for the central white tissue formation. I also provide a research perspective from which to resolve the remaining questions.